A recording of a conversation between a business owner in southern Israel and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon shows that the latter is very frustrated with his job and his apparent inability to get things done – because Ministry officials simply ignore his orders.
Actually, Kahlon said in response to the recording, which was broadcast on Channel 13, things aren’t all that bad; the comments he made in the recording were of a humorous nature, and he welcomes the challenge of running Israel’s finances.
The background to the conversation was the approval of NIS 3 million last week by the cabinet for restauranteurs in southern Israel whose businesses have suffered because of ongoing Hamas terror rocket attacks. The money is set to go towards helping restauranteurs cover losses for the days they have been forced to close because of attacks, as well as damage to buildings that have been hit in attacks.
However, despite the approval, the money is being held up in bureaucratic processes, and it is not clear when it will be available. In the conversation between Kahlon and a restauranteur, the latter says that he has attempted to determine the status of the payout, but is unable to get answers. “I can tell you where we stand financially. I have spoken with your legal advisor several times, and I can tell you he is a very pompous person” who refused to give him any information or even confirm that the money would be coming, the restauranteur tells Kahlon.
In response, the minister sympathizes with the restauranteur. “I know all about it, you don’t have to tell me.” The restauranteur then asks “Minister, how does this happen that you give an order and a minor official defies you?” To which Kahlon replies, “let me tell you something – 98% of my orders do not get carried out. Because of this I decided to quit the Finance Ministry.”
The Ministry’s chief legal adviser seems to be the one holding up the payments, Channel 13 said, and business owners from the south have even protested outside his house. Business owners told Channel 13 that this was not the first time Kahlon has expressed frustration with his job, and with the legal adviser.
When asked, however, Kahlon said that all was well, adding that his comments about resigning and how 98% of his orders are ignored “were made humorously.”